Book Review: Give The Dark My Love ( Give the Dark My Love #1 )- Beth Revis

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When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island’s wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn’t quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her.

All, except for Greggori “Grey” Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that’s for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it’s making its way toward the cities. With her family’s life–and the lives of all of Lunar Island’s citizens–on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.

Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy’s most dangerous corners–and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Puuh * pushes glasses up nose * I´m kind of struggling to find the right words to describe this YA fantasy novel. I have feelings. Strong ones.

`Give The Dark My Love` ( Give The Dark My Love #1 ) by author Beth Revis is definitely a game-changer in the YA fantasy niché. It´s dark. It´s graphic. Adventurous and a tad brutal. I really enjoyed this story. Give The Dark My Love

A young aspiring alchemist on a mission to find a cure for a deadly disease. FINALLY, something to read that can´t be compared to other YA fantasy bestsellers. FINALLY an anti Heroine. I´d be highly shooketh if it wasn´t for one thing. Mind you, this is the only thing I could have done without. The romance. It seemed as if the romance was added only for good measure. Totally unnecessary. I truly believe the story is strong enough on its own and would have been even greater without the insta-love. ( and this is coming from a romance advocate ). Aside from that, I appreciated the rest.

 

  • The title. Can we just stop for a moment to appreciate the title? Give The Dark My Love. I´m not blown out of my socks but it´s still a great title.

 

  • The anti Hero. It´s been so long since I came across an anti-heroine. Nedra ( Heroine ) is a well-developed character. Her journey from being an innocent young lady to becoming something like an evil doctor was great to read about. Her motives, her actions, what she suffered through and the way her life panned out in this book… I have no complaints. Absolutely none. Truly not bad for a YA fantasy book.

 

  • The writing was clean and sharp. Not too over the top.

 

  • The darkness. I love it when books have a certain aura. This one was set out to be dark and boy did that energy grow with the story.

 

All in all I can´t really say much about this story other than I enjoyed it and am willing to start the next one ASAP.


 

Would I recommend this book? For YA fantasy readers who don´t mind necromancy – Sure. I didn´t have a problem with it. It´s an interesting story.

Would I reread this book? I´m going to say it depends on how the story pans out. If book #2 is a disappointment and I end up discontinuing the series I won´t reread this one.


 

The Cover – 2 Stars:  The cover image is not for me. It´s very YA fantasy-ish.

The Story – 3 Stars:  It was the romance that kept me from doing a rain dance around the table. And the dual POV. I just don´t think those are worth it.

The Characters – 4 Stars:  Grey ( Hero ) should have been the first victim ever of The Wasting Death. But Nedra- Well done.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Satisfied.

3 stars

 

You can purchase `Give The Dark My Love` by Beth Revis on Amazon.com

 

Book Review: Frost Blood (Frostblood Saga #1 ) – Elly Blake

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Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating – yet irresistible – Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her – and from the icy young man she has come to love.

 


 

My Thoughts 2

 

`Enter a world where fire and ice are mortal enemies…`

 

There are two problems here. 1) The synopsis sounds familiar. Like, Red Queen  by Victoria Aveyard familiar. 2) That backside tagline- Sounded also a little familiar.

The fire and ice thingy immediately had me thinking of the Starks and Targaryens. Was I going to read about that in this YA – Fantasy – Romance saga? Good God…

Will this Ruby chick in `Frost Blood` be another Katniss / Feyre / Mare copy? Hmm…

Frost Blood 2
Cover version I don´t have

I mean- We´ve seen this happen before, right? Authors will latch onto the trend-wagon, creating their own versions of an already successful bestseller. Which is fine, I guess. You can´t reinvent the wheel. But you can try to perfect it.

I´m going to keep this nice and simple:  I wasn´t too mad about this book.

Yes, it´s exactly like every other dramatic YA fantasy book. It has almost the same elements: A young badass ( and also slightly annoying ) world-changer Heroine, good vs. evil, arguable romance, bla bla bla… Despite having already read this type of story many times before I can say without a doubt that I enjoyed this one more than I did others. As in – Other popular YA fantasy romance bestsellers.

I enjoyed `Frost Blood ` so much more that I´m willing to give the next book a try.

Frost Blood
Cover version I have

I will say, though, that the writing didn´t knock me out of my socks. It was clean and simple. Nothing to go nuts over, in my opinion.

All in all not a bad read.


 

Would I recommend this book? Yeah, I would. I would even recommend reading `Frost Blood` before reading all the other similar bestsellers. It´s easy on the mind and entertaining.  A great introductory book for anyone new to the YA fantasy romance world.

Would I reread this book? Maybe.


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:   A rose. A frosted rose. * sigh * Not terrible but also not what I would consider fabulous, either.

The Story – 3 Stars:   Been there. Done that. Bought the book 5x before. But still a decent adventurous read.

The Characters – 3 Stars:  I was going to rate the characters with 4 stars but then I remembered how little I knew of the Heroine. I would have liked a little more background info on her. Fingers crossed I´ll get more of that in the next book.

My emotional state after finishing this read:  Relatively happy.

 

3 stars

 

You can purchase `Frost Blood` ( Frostblood Saga #1 ) by author Elly Blake on Amazon.com

Book Cover Trends: Floral Designs

Floral prints on book covers are nothing new or special. They´ve been around for quite some time now but it seems like the book marketing department has set a new trend for book cover art.

Florals. And the floral trend is growing like wildflowers.

From pastel to bold, simple or chaotic… Flowerets are slowly dominating book covers. Gone are the tough cookie Heroines standing on a cliff from our beloved YA fantasy novels. Long forgotten are the days of having to see a cover image of cute couples cuddling against a fence. It´s all about the secret language of flowers nowadays.

But why use floral designs for book covers? Why use a lilac, a rose, or a baroque bouquet image? Well, as you may already know, flowers symbolize different things such as happiness, wealth, beauty, positivity and even death. In literature, though, flowers are often associated with love and passion… Basically what you´d most likely find in romances. It´s 2019 and we´re seeing floral images not only on romances but on nearly all kinds of fiction ( and even non-fiction) books. These days designers are using florals for a few reasons:

  • They´re story bound
  • They symbolize a theme ( depending on the flower type )
  • Marketing wants to keep it neutral and exciting
  • They´re trendy

 

For me, floral designs on book covers tell me I´m about to get my hands on something romantic.  It feels like a dead giveaway. I mean- For a non-flower expert like myself, a flower/flowers symbolizes love. And depending on the color theme and flower type on a book cover you can sort of tell in which direction the story will go. Unless I´m standing in a different genre section I´ll associate floral designs with romance.

Personally, I´m not a huge fan of floral book cover art but I´m also not against seeing colorful flowers on a book cover, either. It truly depends on the cover art and color theme for me. I have my favorites. I´ve also seen some hideous designs. Remember- A book cover should always look inviting.

The only thing I fully appreciate about floral cover designs is the fact that they´re semi-neutral. Not as in genre neutral. When I say neutral I mean that I´m not having a character image shoved in my face nor can I predict the story ( including its ending ). You know you´re getting something but you can´t read anything more into the cover.

Since this trend is spreading like weed wildflowers I decided to share some floral art from a few genres. Are you ready?


 

#1  Flowers For Fantasy

 

floral Covers Fantasy

 

Would I have thought these were fantasy novels based on the cover art alone?

Not really. If it weren´t for the book titles I would definitely think all six were romances. Okay, the crown on the fourth cover does indicate that it´s a fantasy novel but the rest? Nope. Not without the help of the titles.

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore? It´s hard to say. Although they´re all cool and beautiful to look at… The images are also very busy. Maybe if one of these were between simple colored covers.

 


 

#2  Flowerful Historicals

 

Floral Covers Historical

 

Would I have thought these were historical novels based on the cover art alone?

Yes. No. I´m leaning more towards possibly. Again, some of the images are modern and pretty neutral so the help of a title is needed in order to pinpoint the genre. And not even that is fully possible with these historicals. The fifth cover image is a dead giveaway without the title but the rest could easily pass for contemporary romances or even thrillers.

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

The second and third cover images would. Because of the stronger color contrast. The rest looks beautiful but I don´t think they´re powerful enough to stand out from other covers. Too dark and mundane for me.

 


 


 

#3 The Romance Flowers

 

Floral Covers Romance

 

 

Would I have thought these were romance novels based on the cover art alone?

Yes. This flower arrangement is typical for romance novels. A close up on a single flower with a contrasting background ( #1, #2, #3, #6 ). The floral design on #4 is a wildflower bouquet in the shape of a human heart… Yes, please!

( ignore the fact that `The Stationery Shop` cover doesn´t really belong in this genre as it´s historical, cultural fiction )

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

Some would. I have 4 of these beauties already on my bookshelf. #3 is my favorite book & book cover.  If I´m honest- the cover for #6 looks a lot like a book on how to garden ( and I avoid those books with a passion )

 


 

#4  Erotica Florals

 

Floral Covers Erotica BDSM

 

Would I have thought these were erotica novels based on the cover art alone?

Oh, absolutely. These images / the designs represent the erotica genre. I could tell from a mile away that these are erotica novels. These covers are clean and simple in a very feminine way… Nothing like the complicated stories they´re trying to sell.

Many are used to seeing other objects, such as pearls, bedsheets, bedposts, lingerie, silk, lingerie, handcuffs and whips on erotica book covers. Anything that can be associated with relationships or sex. A single flower with a black background will always be apart of the long list of favorite cover images for this genre. Do I think the flowers have anything to do with the story? Or are there any flowers in these erotica novels? To be honest- I have yet to come across an erotica novel that mentions a flower, flower arrangements or even has a bouquet in it. So, I don´t think so.

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

Yes, but not in a positive way. While these cover images tick off all the right boxes for me ( color contrast, easy on the eyes, etc ) I do think they´re outdated. There are other sensual color themes that can be used for the genre. I would like to see something less blunt.

 


 

#5  Thriller & Mystery Florals

 

Floral Covers Thrillers and Mystery

 

Would I have thought these were Thriller / Mystery novels based on the cover art alone?

Most of the cover images here are obvious. For me, #1, #4 and #5 scream Thriller or Mystery. Thriller cover art often has a specific filter over the images to make them look more mysterious. So, yes. I would have thought some of these floral images were for thrillers or mystery novels. If you look at title and image then you know what you´re getting ( almost ).

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

Yes! Even if I´m not much of a thriller reader I can still appreciate beautiful, eye-catchy covers. If it were up to me every romance would have this type of design because I find it appealing. I think I´m going to put cover feature #4 and #5 on my TBR list.

 


 

So you see… Florals are everywhere.

All in all I´m not mad about flowers on book covers. As long as I don´t have reals ones in the house then all´s good.

 


 

What is your opinion on floral book covers? Do you like or dislike them? Do you think they work for all genres? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat with you. ❤

 


 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed.

Many hugs,

 

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Surviving `Beautiful Creatures`The Movie

Oops. I guess I´m 6 years too late for this one.

 

 

I remember how I got all excited in 2013 when I found out about the book to movie adaptation but it somehow slipped my mind that one of my favorite YA Fantasy reads was in theaters. The perks of being old- You automatically turn into Dory from Finding Nemo. Thanks to the suggestions based on my daughter´s Netflix movie tastes I was reminded once again that `Beautiful Creatures` had been made into a movie.

 

Beautiful_Creatures_movie_poster

 

Let me give you a walkthrough on how my `Beautiful Creatures` movie experience went. It all started with the husbutt actually wanting to watch the movie with me. Oookay. Fine by me. So, we started. And the first thing husbutt says is:

“Wait a second. You have that book, don´t you?”

How very observant of him. Yes. I have the book. I actually have `Beautiful Creatures` ( book #1 ) and `Beautiful Darkness`( book #2) on my bookshelf. One is a paperback and the other is a hardcover ( which really doesn´t sit well with me ).

“What´s the story about again?” He asked.

My inner Dory then made another appearance again because I only had a rough idea of what the story was about. Who can blame me after having first and last read the books after they were published back in 2010 ( give or take a year )? Exactly.

“Uuhm, Young Adult. Teenagers having witchy issues.”

My communication skills can´t be topped. But to my defense- I was munching on Doritos. Speaking too much could cause a chip flake to go down the wrong pipe. Death by Doritos doesn´t seem too bad. Knowing `Beautiful Creatures` would be my last movie if I had choked on a Dorito? I wasn´t willing to take that risk.

So, we started the movie knowing it was about witches. And we watched. And watched. Turns out, I didn´t forget all too much about the book. How did I know?

Because I was constantly complaining about the things that weren´t included in the movie. Small yet significant details that made the book great- The things that made the characters great.

beautiful creatures
The book.

Without wanting to spoil the movie ( or book, for that matter ) I won´t get into details but I will say this: That library scene, the first of quite a few, had me rolling on the floor gasping for air.  And that curse threat? I can gladly inform everyone that it was not all too life-threatening. Not for me, nor for the movie characters. In fact- It felt like some useless side info.

What I did appreciate was the tiny `Carrie` moment the female lead had in the beginning. A little more of those scenes would have done wonders for this movie.

So, with all that being said, I didn´t like `Beautiful Creatures`, the movie. Like – At all. It was as dry and very non-curse driven. It was far less mysterious or magical.

My husband´s final words were:

” Imagine going to the butchers and asking for a nice slab of ribs then watching the butcher slam the meat very unlovingly on the work counter. That´s how this movie felt: A book to movie adaptation thrown unlovingly to the crowd.”  And he didn´t read the book.

The book, though, is really great. Much darker than the movie. It has depth and keeps a reader in an upright position until the very last page. One of the few YA Fantasy reads I truly adore.

Let´s keep our fingers crossed for the next book – to – movie adaptation!


 

Did you watch `Beautiful Creatures`? Did you read the book? Let´s discuss it. ❤


 

I hope you all have a wonderful day. Feel hugged and share the book-love!

 

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Mr. Male Protagonist, Why Do You Growl?

Romance readers will know about this. Erotica fans are familiar with it. Even Young Adult lovers have seen this occasionally in their beloved innocent books.

 

Growling male protagonists

 

A reaction from a male character in fiction novels triggered mostly by jealousy and / or approval.  But why?

Let´s do a quick run down on living beings that growl

 

  • animals

 

That´s it. Growling is a low, guttural vocalization produced by predatory animals as an aggressive warning but can also be found in other contexts such as playful behaviors or mating ( thanks Wiki * wink * )

So, why are we reading about CEOs, lumberjacks, bad boys and the hot quarterbacks in contemp. romance / young adult / erotica novels growling when it´s clearing an animalistic behaviorism?

 

 

(Warning: Interesting short fun fact ahead)

If you hadn´t known already, there are similarities between human body language and animal behavior. It´s actually interesting to know how human body language resembles the non verbal communication of animals. We can be cocky like cats, we signal aggression like dogs by baring our teeth and we gesture like apes. ( end of fun fact )

And this is okay. To describe a man´s movement by comparing him to a panther isn´t a problem. Sounding like a panther is.

Do we growl? Like actually growl? And what has authors thinking growling is an acceptable reaction? And why is it only male characters who growl?

I´m one of those readers who can get completely lost in a book. Once I´m invested then that´s it- I´m all in. I´m also the type that reads and fails to see someone else´s logic no matter how poetic it may be.

 

“He let out a growl…”

 

A line that has come up in almost all of my novels that have territorial Heroes. Aah, that word: Territorial. Another word that´s often associated with male protagonists. They are territorial. Sure. Why the hell not, right? It´s supposedly hot to read about a guy growling his way in to a woman´s knickers.

10 years, people…. I´ve spent 10 years of questioning this in romance novels and have only recently asked myself what I would do if a male would growl near me. Would this even happen in real life?

 

My first thought and facial expression would be, without a doubt, this, should a man ever growl in public:

 

The thought alone of the husbutt growling his approval when seeing me in a dress would definitely earn him this reaction from me:

 

And should he ever growl because he´s jealous then I might have to use physical education:

 

This is not to say that growling should be banned from all modern romance literature. Growling works beautifully for fictional characters in paranormal romances and fantasy novels or (!!!) for contemporary romances that involve male characters who´ve once been feral children that have had been forced by nature to adapt to wildlife and animals- Technically, they´re allowed to growl.

“I heard a low threatening growl from somewhere in the room. It was him.”

 

Me when I read that line in a contemp. romance novel

 

So, my question is:

Mr. Male Protagonist,

Why do you growl? Why not just smile with pride, use a great comeback line,.. or how about moaning? If you´re going to do something during your less animalistic sex then you shouldn´t growl.


QUESTION Of The Day:

Am I alone with my thoughts? Do men these days growl? Have you ever heard of a female character in novels growl? What are your thoughts? Does a growling male protagonist bother you? What do you think about growling in general?

Feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments below. ❤